Just Call Me Miss Spell

I’ve covered a lot of spelling bees, and I’ve seen it happen before. The speller knows the word perfectly well, but through overconfidence, under-confidence, a mixture of the above or a brief bedevilment of the tongue a letter is added, dropped or mispronounced.

So when I added an extra “n” to “cantata,” spelling it “cantanta” in the second round of Kitsap County’s Corporate Spelling Bee, held tonight in Silverdale, I could honestly say to all those I’ve covered who’ve hung their heads in shame, “I feel your pain.”

The event is held every year to raise funds for the Literacy Council of Kitsap. I was a member of the the Kitsap Sun’s team, which took first place in the bee last year. I believe I even spelled the winning word. But as they say all your “atta-boys” can be erased by a single “Oh …” well, I’ll let those of you who know the phrase finish it for me.

Guess I should have followed the example of Hunter Lehmann, a 13-year-old home-school student from Poulsbo, who won the Kitsap Sun Regional Spelling Bee for the second year in a row on March 20. His advice, “Stay calm.”

Hunter and his folks will be heading to Washington, D.C., for the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 30 and 31.

“Off the Shelf,” a team representing Kitsap Regional Library, captured the corporate bee championship Tuesday after a 25-round marathon. The librarians won by correctly spelling “grok,” which is defined as to “understand profoundly: establish deep compassionate rapport with.”
Second-place finishers were “The Rocket Scientists,” from Lockheed Martin.

The Kitsap Sun’s story on the bee kindly hammers home the fact that, “The defending champions went from first to worst by becoming the first team to ‘spell out’ Tuesday night, misspelling — somehow — the word ‘cantata.'”

My apologies to my teammates, Kitsap Sun Editor Scott Ware and night editor Jim Thomsen.

And to Hunter, good luck, buddy. I totally grok the pressure you’re under.

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